Aspartame is a widely used, low-calorie, artificial sweetener, and one of the most popular sugar substitutes in low-calorie food and drinks, including diet sodas. It is also a component of some medications.

Aspartame is available in the United States under the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal.

Despite its extensive use and popularity, aspartame has become a source of controversy in recent years with several studies claiming the sweetener has adverse side effects.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aspartame for use in food and drink back in 1981. Agencies in Europe, Canada, and many other countries also approve of its use.

Furthermore, the following authorities endorse it:

  • World Health Organization
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
  • American Heart Association
  • American Dietetic Association

In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducted a review of hundreds of studies looking into the effects of aspartame.

The EFSA ruled aspartame safe for human consumption and set an acceptable daily intake or ADI of aspartame at 40 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight. The EFSA’s ADI for aspartame is 10 mg lower than the amount the FDA considers safe.

However, the amounts set by both the EFSA and the FDA are far more than most people consume in a day.

A can of diet soda, for example, contains only about 190 mg of aspartame. A person would have to consume more than 19 cans of soda to reach the ADI limits.

COMMON RISKS CAUSED BY ASPARTAME

Over a few decades, clinical reports have claimed that aspartame – and artificial sweetener causes the risk of –

  1. Depression
  2. Cancer
  3. Multiple Sclerosis
  4. Headaches
  5. Dizziness
  6. Seizures
  7. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?

Sadness, feeling down and having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities are familiar feelings for all of us. But if they persist and affect our lives substantially, the issue may be depression.

Depression is the main cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It can affect adults, adolescents, and children.

Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from the mood fluctuations that people regularly experience as a part of life.

Depression is an ongoing problem, not a passing one. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression can last for several weeks, months, or years.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of depression can be as follows –

  • a depressed or saddened mood
  • reduced interest in activities once enjoyed
  • a loss of sexual desire
  • changes in appetite
  • unwanted weight loss or gain
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • slowed movement and speech
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • difficulty thinking, concentration, or making decisions
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide

Depression is a common term for both males and females, let us check what does it includes –

For Females – Symptoms of depression that tends to appear more often in female –

  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Negative Thoughts
  • Anxiety

For Males –
Symptoms that are usually seen in males are the signs of depression –

  • Avoiding Families & Social Situations
  • Abusive or Uncontrolling Behaviour in Relationships
  •  Working without any breaks

Approximately 5 to 10% of males in the U.S are more likely to face depression or anxiety as per the American Psychological Association. For School/College Students –
Every one of us will not have the same phase of learning at schools or colleges. For some it can be stressful too, it may be due to changes in lifestyles, culture, or environment.

  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Suffering from Insomnia
  •  avoid going to parties or occasions

For Teens –Symptoms in teenagers can be

  • Feeling Helpless or worthless.
  • Feeling Guilty without any reasons for being one.
  • Uninterested in hangouts with friends or family.
  • restlessness.

Treating the Cause – 

Depression is treatable, and managing symptoms usually involves three components:

  1. Support: This can range from discussing practical solutions and possible causes to educating family members.
  2. Psychotherapy: Also known as talking therapy, some options include one-to-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  3. Drug treatment: A doctor may prescribe antidepressants.

To come over this, natural remedies such as herbal medications are also used to treat mild to moderate depression

What Causes Cancer?

Cancer causes cells to divide uncontrollably. This can result in tumors, damage to the immune system, and other impairment that can be fatal.

In the United States, an estimated 15.5 million people with a history of cancer were living as of January 1, 2016, according to a 2018 report from the American Cancer Society.

Cancer can start any place in the body. It starts when cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should.

Cancer can be treated very well for many people. In fact, more people than ever before lead full lives after cancer treatment.

Some types of cancer cause rapid cell growth, while others cause cells to grow and divide at a slower rate. Certain forms of cancer result in visible growths called tumors, while others, such as leukemia, do not. Most of the body’s cells have specific functions and fixed lifespans. While it may sound like a bad thing, cell death is part of a natural and beneficial phenomenon called apoptosis. A cell receives instructions to die so that the body can replace it with a newer cell that functions better. Cancerous cells lack the components that instruct them to stop dividing and to die.

As a result, they build up in the body, using oxygen and nutrients that would usually nourish other cells. Cancerous cells can form tumors, impair the immune system, and cause other changes that prevent the body from functioning regularly. Cancerous cells may appear in one area, then spread via the lymph nodes. These are clusters of immune cells located throughout the body.

Cancer risk can be caused with –

  •  improper nutrition
  • smoking
  • excessive consumption of alcohol
  • excess of body weight
  •  no physical activities

Treating the Cause –

Doctors usually prescribe treatments based on the type of cancer, its stage at diagnosis, and the person’s overall health. Approaches to cancer treatment – Immunotherapy uses medications and other treatments to boost the immune system and encourage it to fight cancerous cells. Two examples of these treatments are checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer.

Chemotherapy aims to kill cancerous cells with medications that target rapidly dividing cells. The drugs can also help shrink tumors, but the side effects can be severe.

Surgery is often a part of a treatment plan when a person has a cancerous tumor. Also, a surgeon may remove lymph nodes to reduce or prevent the disease’s spread.

Radiation therapy uses high-dose radiation to kill cancerous cells. Also, a doctor may recommend using radiation to shrink a tumor before surgery or reduce tumor-related symptoms.

Hormone therapy involves taking medications that change how certain hormones work or interfere with the body’s ability to produce them. When hormones play a significant role, as with prostate and breast cancers, this is a common approach.

What Causes Headache?

Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints; most people experience them at some point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of age, race, and gender.

A headache can be a sign of stress or emotional distress, or it can result from a medical disorder, such as migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. It can lead to other problems. People with chronic migraine headaches, for example, may find it hard to attend work or school regularly.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that almost half of all adults worldwide will experience a headache in any given year.

Headaches are classified into primary and secondary headaches. Primary Headaches such as cluster headaches,  migraines, and tension headaches. Whereas Secondary Headaches can occur with alcohol hungover,  blood clots, tumor,  panic attacks, strokes, teeth grinding at nights,  overuse of pain medications, and many more.

Treating the Cause –

You can treat the headaches using some home remedies –

  • Apply an ice pack or hot pack to your head or neck too but avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid taking stress, sit in the fresh air, and consume more water base foods to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can be one of the causes for severe headaches.
  • Cope up with healthy meals and regular workouts with enough sleep to avoid headaches.
  • Maintaining stable blood sugar is also one of the precautions to avoid headaches.

What Causes ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental health disorder.

It occurs when a person experiences difficulties in maintaining attention or controlling physical energy and movement.

Doctors are dividing the ADHD into three categories – inattentive, predominantly hyperactive and combined.

Inattentive A person with inattentive ADHD is  to examine the following characteristics :

  • difficulties with holding focus on activities
  • giving the appearance of not listening while others are talking
  • experiencing difficulty with time management and task organization
  • frequently losing items or accessories necessary for daily function
  • becoming distracted easily
  • forgetting to complete tasks and fulfill obligations
  • difficulties with following instructions to complete tasks

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive –This specifier means that an individual shows more signs of hyperactivity than inattention, including

  • an inability to remain seated
  • excessive talking
  • difficulties waiting for their turn in a conversation, often finishing other people’s sentences or answering before the end of a question
  • seeming to be constantly “on-the-go”
  • frequently intruding on others, including conversations, activities, or games
  • persistent fidgeting, tapping of the hands and feet or squirming
  • finding it difficult to engage in activities
  • reluctance to wait for their turn

Combined – A person with a combined ADHD shows characteristics from both specifiers.

These characteristics interfere with daily life, relationships with others, and success in school or work. Women are to experience difficulty with inattentive characteristics, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Treating the Cause –

Treatment of ADHD includes Medications, Behavioural Therapies, and sometimes both.
Behavioral Therapies like talk therapy or psychotherapy. These Therapies are majorly used to monitor your own behavior and many ways to help you manage it.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis means Scar Tissue In Multiple Areas

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms throughout the body.

Multiple Sclerosis symptoms differ in individual from mild to severe.

 Signs & Symptoms of MS –

  • Numbness & Tingling
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Headache
  • Hearing Loss
  • Itching
  • Breathing Issues
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Speech Disorder
  •  Sexual Dysfunction
  • Vision Problems
  • Bladder Problems
  • Learning & Memory Problems
  • Pain

Treating the cause – 

There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis but treatment can be given which can slow the progression and decreases the number of severity of relapses and another option is to relieve the symptoms. There are some specialized medications available which are prescribed by doctors after diagnosing your symptom.

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